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'Russia May Open its Own Econometrics School'

On September 20, the three-day international conference ‘Modern Econometric Tools and Applications’ came to an end at HSE’s Nizhny Novgorod campus. The conference was organized by the Higher School of Economics and the New Economic School (NES). Academics from Canada, France, Great Britain, and other countries discussed cutting-edge research in the field of theoretical and applied econometrics, in particular stochastic economic processes.

This was the first time an econometrics conference of such caliber was held in Russia, according to one of the conference’s organizers, Andrey Maksimov, who is a Professor in HSE Nizhny Novgorod’s Faculty of Economics. About a third of the speakers at the forum were from leading foreign research centers.

Noting the high level of work presented at the conference, Professor Rustam Ibragimov of Imperial College London emphasized that econometric analysis allowed for mathematical models to be created, on the basis of which processes could be forecast that worry the majority of the population: inflation, exchange rates, oil prices, etc. Eric Gautier, a specialist in probabilistic statistics and a Professor at the Toulouse School of Economics, added that econometrics implies the presence of a serious mathematical basis for research and education, something Russia has always been strong in. According to Gautier, the fact that the names of American academics are more commonly heard in the field of econometrics does not give reason to doubt that Russia can have its own econometric school.

In organizing the conference, its initiators set before themselves challenges associated with the development of econometrics schools in Nizhny Novgorod and at foreign universities that employ Russian academics. According to HSE Professor Andrey Maksimov, it was important for the organizers to provide students of Nizhny Novgorod’s universities with the opportunity to communicate with recognized experts in econometrics and to some extent feel like part of the global academic process.

‘Communication with world-class scientists is certainly an invaluable experience for a young researcher. I'm sure that a great future lies ahead of such a difficult science as econometrics. Not everyone is given the ability to develop new research tools, and I am really glad I was able to attend the experts’ speeches,’ according to fourth-year student Alexander Bednyashin of HSE’s Faculty of Economics.

New Economic School Professor Stanislav Anatolyev, a renowned expert in the field of econometrics, believes that now, given the economic situation, it is necessary to spend effort, time and money on the education of future econometricians. This includes holding similar conferences on a regular basis. Assessing the potential of the Nizhny Novgorod students, Anatolyev, who has come to HSE Nizhny Novgorod lectures on theoretical and applied econometrics on several occasions, added that students’ overall level of preparation pleases him. He noted, however, that he believed students would do well to take more initiative in research.

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